Along with the voices, the Niagara mists were also full of blackpoll warblers. While we didn't actually catch 1,000 of them, it sure felt like it. Probably half of the birds we caught today were blackpolls. As an added bit of spice, we did catch a bay-breasted warbler female in the mix. She was rather nondescript and was faintly confused with a blackpoll female, but after minor deliberation we figured her out.
We were also excited about a recaptured white-breasted nuthatch, our second of the season. Quite cute birds, with their little upturned bills and gray hats. Amy was particularly charmed, and took some lovely pictures (below).
Red-eyed vireos were our second most common bird of the day. They are feisty little ones, clacking and snapping any fingers that get close. They are not afraid to let you know that they have bills and know how to use them. Luckily they're not big enough to actually hurt when they bite you. Their beady red eyes, fixed on you in a death stare, are for some reason reminiscent of dinosaurs. If looks could kill, we banders would have been incinerated long, long ago. One gets a feeling that these birds, if given the chance and inclination, would gladly peck us to pieces with their tiny insect-eating bills. Birds with blood-red eyes, coming out of the mists to attack people... I think we've got the makings of a good horror movie here :)
In other bird news:
Yesterday Lauren went to assist with the rescue of a young red-tailed hawk. The nest it shared with a sibling had fallen down, presumably in one of the recent storms, so Tamarak Wildlife Rehab came to the rescue. The other youngster didn't make it, but both parents were still around, caring for their remaining youngster. There were at least 5 headless squirrels laying around the yard, temping morsels for the baby hawk. The rescue team climbed a nearby tree and lashed a wicker basket filled with straw up for a new nest.
Only two more banding days left, Monday at Erie Bluffs State Park and Tuesday at Fry's Landing. If you've yet to come out and visit, now's the time! Otherwise, you'll have to wait until August when we begin fall banding. So please come out and visit, we welcome all visitors and volunteers!